‘Short-changed’ on car park­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - Christmas Lights Trail - By RACHELLE CHAP­MAN

THE Townsville com­mu­nity has been short-changed on car parks, townsville City Coun­cil­lor David Crisa­fulli says.

He said the coun­cil’s 1.5 car park per res­i­den­tial unit — be it one bed­room, three bed­room or big­ger — fell well short.

‘‘One car park per bed­room should be the min­i­mum re­quire­ment,’’ Cr Crisa­fulli said.

Cr Crisa­fulli said the in­ad­e­quate car park­ing ar­range­ment meant unit oc­cu­pants were of­ten forced to park in the street, blocks away from their homes.

‘‘And peo­ple in the sur­round­ing ar­eas, many who have been there for a long time, sud­denly have cars out the front of their homes,’’ he said.

Coun­cil’s cur­rent res­i­den­tial u n i t c a r p a r k i n g p o l i c y threat­ened to ruin Townsville’s lifestyle, Cr Crisa­fulli said.

‘‘We need to make sure our min­i­mum stan­dard is in line with the kind of Townsville we want to cre­ate to­mor­row,’’ he said.

‘‘I un­der­stand some de­vel­op­ers will jump up and down and scream blue mur­der, but we have to stand firm.

‘‘It needs us to have a bit of courage and stand up t o de­vel­op­ers and say: we are try­ing to cre­ate a Townsville where we don’t have traf­fic prob­lems and (ve­hi­cle con­ges­tion) and we ex­pect the de­vel­op­ers t o play a part.’’

Cr Crisa­fulli said if coun­cil con­tin­ued its 1.5 car park pol­icy Townsville risked los­ing the ‘live­able fac­tor that makes our area very spe­cial’.

He said a three-bed­room unit in Townsville most prob­a­bly housed three oc­cu­pants with three cars.

‘‘We are not a Syd­ney or Melbourne where peo­ple catch a tram (or pub­lic trans­port) to work,’’ he said.

But Townsville City Coun­cil Neigh­bour­hood and Strate­gic Plan­ning Com­mit­tee chair­man Cr John Robert­son re­jected Cr Crisa­fulli’s sug­ges­tion.

‘‘We re­quire 1.5 car parks per (res­i­den­tial) unit — any fur­ther re­quire­ments for park­ing will be based on proper re­search and bench­mark­ing, not pol­icy on the run like David is sug­gest­ing,’’ Cr Robert­son said.

‘‘Is he also propos­ing four and five bed­room homes pro­vide four and five car parks?’’

Townsville City Coun­cil tripled the de­vel­oper con­tri­bu­tion in lieu of car park­ing in the in­ner city and Aitken­vale in Au­gust this year.

De­vel­op­ers must pay $37,000 for each car park­ing bay not pro­vided for on new de­vel­op­ments.

The move aimed to en­cour­age de­vel­op­ers to pro­vide ad­e­quate on-site car park­ing.

But Cr Crisa­fulli said this should be an ‘ab­so­lutely last re­sort’ op­tion.

Fur­ther­more, he said it should only be ac­cepted by coun­cil if the coun­cil could build the car park short­fall in the im­me­di­ate area.

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